Lemons, oranges, mandarins, tangerines, and grapefruits are examples of citrus fruits that have a wide range of uses. If you’re lucky enough to own a citrus orchard or even just a couple of citrus trees, and you’re picking their fruit for the first time, there are a few things that you have to keep in mind.
For one, you can’t climb citrus trees and you have to use a ladder to harvest its fruit. AIMsales.com.au explains that your ladder should be curved so you can efficiently pick your fruit by keeping them within reach on any level. Here are more tips you could use to maximise the first citrus harvest from your trees:
1. Know when the fruit is ripe.
Their colour is never an indicator of their ripeness. Citrus fruits are ripe and ready to pick when they are heavy, solid, and has a strong citrus smell. The fruits that are on the outer part of the tree ripen first before the ones closer to the trunk.
2. Don’t throw them in the basket.
This will bruise them and make them spoil or go bad easily. Gently put them in a basket or a bag after picking.
3. Don’t wash them right away.
Washing citrus fruits right after they’re picked makes them absorb and retain more moisture than usual. These will also make them prone to spoilage faster. It’s best to only wash them right before use.
4. Keep them cool.
For small quantities, your fridge drawer would suffice. If you’re storing them in crates, keep them in a cool, dark spot. In the winter, wrap each fruit individually in newspaper to prevent them from freezing or getting too moist.
These fruits are rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants and have a lot of other health benefits as well. They can also be used as a cleaning agent, a fragrance, and even as a hair bleaching agent. Picking your citrus properly is one way to help them continue to supply you with their nutritious fruits.